The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame 2023 Inductees

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Boston’s living music museum

Nonprofit Organization.

This is farhof

In 2019, the Boch Center expanded and launched the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame (FARHOF), Boston’s newest cultural and educational initiative. It celebrates the lifeblood of America’s musical and cultural heritage.

Led by legendary musicians and music executives including Keb’ Mo’, Joan Baez and Noel Paul Stookey and curated by Deana McCloud of the Museum Collective and Bob Santelli of the Bruce Springsteen Archives, the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring history, while also building the foundation of the next generation of folk, Americana and roots musicians. Housed in the Wang Theatre, FARHOF celebrates folk, Americana and roots music through exhibits, concerts, events, artifacts, memorabilia, lectures, podcasts, educational initiatives and more.

Boston is the folk music capital of north america. – NEIL YOUNG

“Music connects all of us and keeps us a civilized society,” said Josiah Spaulding, President and CEO of the Boch Center. “These genres of music, in particular, have historically provided an outlet for individuals of all races, classes and locations to express their highest joys and their deepest sorrows, and we are thrilled to provide a new cultural destination that will educate people about the important influence of these genres on all music today.”



Joan Baez

Honorary Chair

Don Law

Honorary Chair

Keb’ Mo’ Honorary Chair

Noel Paul Stookey

Honorary Chair

Mark Weld

Chairman of the Board, Boch Center

Doug Yeager President, Yeager Productions, Inc.

Diane Blagman

Greenberg Traurig LLP, Washington D.C.

Elliot Berke

Led by industry experts and renowned musicians, FARHOF is a celebration of the music that made America and continues to influence contemporary artists. In addition to those highlighted here, we are grateful to all who support this initiative through their musical, financial, business and artistic contributions. Together, we are enriching the lives of music lovers worldwide.

Chuck McDermott

Artist / Singer / Songwriter

John MacNeil

Moody Street Pictures

Ford O’Neil

Fidelity Investments

Mike Christian Executive Chairman, Risk Strategies

Ernie Boch Jr. CEO, Boch Enterprises

Jack Randall President, The Kurland Agency

Joe Caruso

The Music Emporium

Bob Crawford

Managing Partner, Berke & Farah LLP, Washington D.C.

Bert Holman

Manager, Allman Brothers Band

Josiah A. Spaulding Jr.

President & CEO, Boch Center

The Avett Brothers

Tim McFadden

Owner, Tim Mc Fadden Management and Consulting

Will Dailey

Artist / Singer / Songwriter


Livingston Taylor Singer / Songwriter

Don Was Musician / Record Producer / Record Executive

Ken Irwin Rounder Records

Ron Pownall Photographer

Aengus Finnan Musician / Arts Organizer

Jed Hilly Americana Music Festival

David Bieber

David Bieber Archives

Alan LeQuire Sculptor

Tom Paxton Singer / Songwriter

Maggie Rose

Artist / Singer / Songwriter

Scott Robinson

Founder and former CEO Dualtone Records

Deana McCloud Museum Collective

Betsy Siggins

Folk New England

Jim Weider

The Weight Band

Robert Corwin Photographer

Josh White Jr. Singer / Songwriter

Mark Spector Manager, Joan Baez & Graham Nash

Jim Lauderdale Artist / Singer / Songwriter

Ken Pattengale & Joey Ryan

The Milk Carton Kids / Artists / Singers / Songwriters

Robbie Woliver

Folk City / Author / Artist

Marco Giovino Drummer

Tom Rush

Artist / Singer / Songwriter

Tim Goodman Singer / Songwriter / Producer

Luther Dickinson

The North Mississippi Allstars

Bob Santelli

Executive Director, Bruce Springsteen Archives

FARHOF is honored to recognize the inaugural class of inductees for their exceptional influences on music, society and culture.

Solo Legacy Artist

Lead Belly Oscar Brand Johnny Cash Woody Guthrie Richie Havens Gordon Lightfoot Odetta John Prine Jean Ritchie Pete Seeger Josh White

Solo Living Artist

Joan Baez Bob Dylan Ramblin’ Jack Elliot Emmylou Harris Taj Mahal

Joni Mitchell Willie Nelson Bonnie Raitt Mavis Staples James Taylor


The Band The Byrds

Peter, Paul & Mary The Weavers


Albert Grossman Betsy Siggins

George Wein

Paul Robeson Artist/Activist Award

Frank Hamilton


Live Concerts

Two Iconic Venues, Unmatched Performances

The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame is housed in the iconic 3,500-seat Wang Theatre, and it shares the 1,500-seat Shubert Theatre These two historic music venues and multiple exhibit spaces feature some of the most influential and talented artists in the industry.

The Wang Theatre, with its rich history, world-class acoustics and exceptional sightlines provides an extraordinary setting for artists and fans alike. As one of the largest stages in the country, its legacy as a prominent cultural landmark in Boston further enhances the experience.

Restored to its original elegance with gilded moldings, murals, scagliola and marbleized surfaces, the Wang Theatre provides a magical backdrop, making each concert a memorable event. Together with the 100-year-old Shubert Theatre, known as the “Little Princess,” the theaters have celebrated and welcomed numerous legendary artists to its stages, including Neil Young, Marcus Mumford, Ringo Starr, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, John Legend, Roseanne Cash, Joan Baez, Little Big Town, The Allman Brothers, Ed Sheeran, Billy Strings, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Avett Brothers, Dropkick Murphys, Leon Bridges and many more.

Beyond star-studded lineups, the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame also serves as a platform to introduce emerging talents and regional musicians to wider audiences. By showcasing a mix of established and up-and-coming artists, FARHOF fosters appreciation for the genres’ influences on contemporary music, bringing artists and music lovers together. We are further honored to have welcomed Maggie Rose, Will Dailey, Devon Allman, Duane Betts, The North Mississippi Allstars, Kemp Harris, Mark Erelli, Lori McKenna, Victoria Cardona and more.

With live streaming and filming capabilities, concerts in FARHOF’s multiple performance spaces welcome audiences worldwide – upholding the legacy of the musical genres that have had indelible influences on past and future generations. We look forward to hosting a diverse roster of shows of all sizes that will resonante with audiences for generations to come.

Pictured: Marcus Mumford (upper left), Ringo Starr and Edgar Winter (middle left), Van Morrison (lower left) Billy Strings (right).

folk music exceeded all human understanding, and if it called out to you, you could disappear and be sucked into it. I could believe in the full spectrum of it and sing about it. It was so real, so more true to life than life itself. It was life magnified.

FARHOF Exhibits

For music enthusiasts and history buffs alike, the Folk Americana Music Hall of Fame offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of folk, Americana and roots music and the profound impact it has had on society.

A robust schedule of permanent and rotating exhibitions illuminates its impact on society and generations past and future. In addition to celebrating and preserving the distinct cultural heritage of the folk, Americana and roots genres, FARHOF exhibitions facilitate conversations and open dialogues about important issues that connect us all.

Past and current exhibits have included:

Don’t Think Twice: The Daniel Kramer

Photographs of Bob Dylan (1964-65)

A showcase of Bob Dylan in an intimate collection of photos from his private and public life as he recorded songs like Like a Rolling Stone, Mr. Tambourine Man and It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue and transitioned from acoustic to electric.


Arlo Guthrie: Native Son

An in-depth look at Arlo Guthrie’s life, from his childhood to his decades-long career on the stage, it features never-before-displayed personal items including Arlo’s first guitar, original handwritten lyrics and early family photographs.

Boston: A Music Town

Celebrating the rich musical traditions of Boston that stretch from classical music to avant-garde jazz and hip-hop.

David Bieber Archives

A curated collection of items from music and media veteran David Bieber’s more than two million pop culture, music and media artifacts.

Life In Six Strings

Featuring distinctive guitars from the legendary Massachusetts personality Ernie Boch Jr.’s personal collection – each with a notable history and impact on music-making across multiple decades and a myriad of genres. With the help of artificial intelligence, a hologram of Boch personally shares each guitar’s unique story, answers guests’ questions, and shares the significance of the guitars in the annals of music.

Wang Theatre: A Century of Great Music

From its start in 1925 as the Metropolitan to the Music Hall of the ’60s, the Wang Theatre walls hold 100 years of history documented in photographs.

Legends of Folk, Americana, Roots Music

The first of a series of exhibits showcasing culturally important artifacts from some of the greatest folk musicians in history – including Woodie Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, Josh White, Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie and more.

Bruce Springsteen: Portraits of an American Music Icon

An intimate look at “The Boss” through the lens of close friends, photographers and family members.

Cultural Heroes

On loan from Alan LeQuire Galleries in Nashville, Tennessee, this exhibit features seven larger-than-life clay sculptures of artists who shaped the soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lead Belly, Paul Robeson, Woody Guthrie, Marian Anderson and Josh White.

Honoring the past, celebrating the present and nurturing the future

There is no shortage of exhibits and topics to explore in the coming years. From music and medicine, women in music and the women’s suffrage movement, the connection between music and environmental conservation, secular folk music during slavery, or music and immigration – the impact of folk, Americana and roots music is limitless.

Leading Education

The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame and its programming further expand the Boch Center’s award-winning community outreach and educational programs. Geared to music lovers of all ages, FARHOF’s educational offerings ensure legacies are honored, and new musical traditions are nurtured for generations to come. We believe that by providing opportunities for everyone, FARHOF highlights and preserves the music that has impacted our shared cultural heritage in immeasurable ways.

The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame’s rich offerings include performances, podcasts, lectures, exhibits, masterclasses, educational tours and more.

Interactive Readings inspire youth from Boston Public Schools and across the globe. Through a partnership with New York Times bestselling author Peter H. Reynolds, Reynolds reads to young students in person and from across the globe through live-streaming. In one program, Reynolds reads two of his books, The Dot and Peace Train, and Yusuf/Cat Stevens joins by video to share a message of hope and peace. Yusuf/Cat Steven’s Peace Train song was released on the Teaser and the Firecat album in 1971. Together, Reynolds and Yusuf/Cat Stevens encourage the kids to “create bravely” and “join the Peace Train.”

Educational Tours of our Cultural Heroes exhibit teaches students about the Civil Rights Movement. Students analyze the characteristics of each Hero’s music, while learning about the risks they took to advance important conversations. Programs for school and community groups are age-specific and use the exhibits and Wang Theatre spaces to educate participants about production, sound and lighting roles while advancing STEM concepts.

Hallways is a series of podcasts produced by the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame. Given folk, Americana and roots music’s deep connections to social justice, Hallways explores how these genres are grounded in America’s history and current issues and how they have influenced change in our complex society. Hallways guests have included Keb’ Mo’, Patty Griffin, Tom Rush, Ani DiFranco, The Milk Carton Kids and more.

The impact of folk, Americana and roots music on our culture is expansive and the Cultural Heroes Lower Lobby Series is an annual series of lectures, book signings, masterclasses, panel discussions and recording releases that celebrate a myriad of topics and highlight the photographers, biographers, teachers, production staff and others whose contributions influence the genres in important ways.

“An advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone, Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must therefore foster and support a form of education and access to the arts and the humanities, designed to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants.”

– United States Congress, New York Times

tuned for tours

Stand where your favorite artists have performed, see over 1,000 artists’ autographs on our backstage walls, learn about the nearly 100-year-old Wang Theatre and view four floors of exsiting exhibits, displays, memorabilia and more.

Visitors to FARHOF can explore the Hall of Fame through either a public or private tour. Guests will also learn about the Theatre’s architectural highlights and unique history – from its hotel roots and glamorous days as a movie “cathedral,” to today’s role as one of the country’s most prominent and sought after venues for performances and events. Boasting one of the biggest stages in the United States, guests can stand where artists such as Neil Young, Yusef/Cat Stevens, Joan Baez, Ed Sheeran and many others have played.

Music enthusiasts will be moved by one-of-a-kind artifacts like Pete Seeger’s legendary banjo which exudes the spirit of an artist who used music to champion social justice causes and inspire generations of musicians and fans. On the lower level, visitors will be greeted by Nashville Artist Alan Lequire’s Cultural Heroes, seven magnificent sculptures of artists who put their careers on the line in support of civil rights issues.

The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame exhibits showcase influential artists and movements while educating visitors and the public about lesser-known musicians whose contributions are equally invaluable. Visitors will learn how folk, Americana and roots genres have evolved and influenced contemporary music like rock ’n roll, hip hop, jazz and more.

Whether a music enthusiast, history buff or visitor seeking a special behind-the-scenes experience, the the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry and the profound impact that music has had on society.

stages for wasfest

“WasFest Off to a Spectacular Start!” – The Boston Globe

WasFest is a musical celebration of eclectic concerts and never-before collaborations. Presented by the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame and the Boch Center, this new festival is curated and hosted by world-renowned musician, legendary producer, documentary filmmaker, composer, radio host and President of Blue Note Records, Don Was. His work has earned him six Grammy Awards, an Emmy, a BAFTA award and numerous additional accolades. With his creative spirit, love of music and deep ties to artists of all genres, Don is able to facilitate the most spectacular collaborations.

“It is a pleasure to put this festival together, pairing some of my favorite artists performing today with some of my all-time favorite records,” said Don Was. “Albums like Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil or Grant Green’s Street of Dreams don’t always get the attention they deserve, and I hope we can bring some incredible music to new audiences with WasFest for years to come.”

Improvisation is encouraged and mistakes happen, but each performance invites artists to push themselves while showcasing their outstanding talents. FARHOF is committed to uniting audiences with the common threads that shape all music. WasFest allows people in the audience to follow those threads from jazz to reggae to roots and more and to showcase the power of music in many forms to bring us all together.

WasFest is an annual event with performances taking place at both the Wang and Shubert Theatres in Boston and among the many exhibit spaces of the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame. It showcases an all-star lineup with incredibly talented musicians at the top of their craft, and it is a welcome change to the current state of the concert-world’s heavy reliance on technology.

Pictured: Judith Hill (lower left), Dark Star Orchestra (lower center), Meshell Ndegeocello (upper center) Don Was (upper right), Lalah Hathaway (lower right).

music is completely human, driven by human feeling, human emotion. The goal of musicians is to make people feel somethinG. – DON WAS

By The Numbers

Just like the people that make up the nation, the influences of folk, Americana and roots music come from every corner of the earth. This is everyone’s Hall of Fame, and the Hall of Fame for future generations of artists.

1 live FARHOF is the only Hall of Fame housed in a living performing arts center and the only featuring interactive AI technology.





FARHOF tours have received consistent 5-star ratings on platforms like TripAdvisor, Got Your Guide, Google and more.

A global audience, the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame has welcomed visitors from 40 states and 30 countries.

55k followers The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame and the Boch Center have a growing social media presence with 55,000 followers.

400k reach and reach over 400,000 email subscribers with ticket offers, announcements and newsletters.

2.2m visits

The Boch Center and the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame garner 2.2 million unique website visitors annually.

Pictured: Arlo Guthrie in conversation with Bob Santelli for Arlo Guthrie: What’s Left of Me (lower right).

At the same time the folk boom was happening, the civil rights movement was happening, the anti-war movement was happening, the ban the bomb movement was happening, the environmental movement was happening. There was suddenly a generation ready To change the course of history. –

About the Boch Center

Founded in 1976 in the heart of Boston’s Theater District, the Boch Center is New England’s largest and one of the nation’s foremost nonprofit performing arts institutions. Home to the iconic Wang and Shubert Theatres, which have anchored the City’s historic Theater District for 100 years, the Boch Center welcomes an average of 400,000 visitors to 200+ world-class performances and events annually.

A diverse roster of performances includes classical and popular music, dance, spoken word, musicals, theater, multimedia, comedy, family programs and more.

Since 1988, the Boch Center’s Youth Development, Arts Education and Ticket Access Programs have been inspiring and igniting greater appreciation for art, culture and creativity for youth and families whose arts opportunities have been limited. The Boch Center’s programs are always free, because the Center believes that it is a right, not a privilege, for everyone to have access to the arts.

Because we believe the arts heal, transform lives and keep us a civilized society, accessibility, diversity, inclusion, and civic engagement are among our highest priorities, driving our programming and community initiatives.

Our commitment to the arts and the community is further extended through partnerships with nonprofit and local arts organizations who call the Wang and Shubert Theatres home.

The Center hosts large public and private events and international conferences and has been the set for many notable major motion pictures and television shows.

“ it’s a right, not a privilEge, for everyone to have access to the arts. ”


FARHOF is dependent on the support of our partners who contribute invaluable resources that make our exhibits and programming possible. We are extraordinarily grateful for their numerous contributions and help in creating an iconic Hall of Fame experience.

Peter H. Reynolds Don WAS



All Rights Reserved. © The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame. An Initiative of the Boch Center. A Nonprofit Organization. 270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA.
Photography by: Corwin Wickersham, Mark Surridge, Ron Pownall, Michael Last, David Fox and MEDIABOSS.
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